i'm rico hizon in singapore, the headlines — the white house rejects claims that president trump asked the head of the fbi to end an investigation into possible links between a senior official and the kremlin. following north korea's latest missile test, the un security council meets behind closed doors — and the us vows to call out states backing pyongyang. i'm kasia madera in london — also in the programme. is the jailing of a top indonesian politician a sign of the country's growing religious intolerance? and ruined by rubbish — the south pacific island with more plastic waste than anywhere else in the world. good morning.
it's 8am in singapore, 1am in london and 8pm in washington where it seems every hour, president donald trump is in more and trouble. the new york times is reporting that president trump asked mr comey to drop the bureau's investigation into alleged ties between russia and michael flynn, the national security advisor at the time. was mr byrne was sacked last week and the white house has denied the claim. democrats said that other senators were shaken and called for a special prosecutor to be appointed. well, this stunning and breathtaking revelation that the president is accused of reaching out directly to the head of the fbi to stop an investigation of general flynn
under the circumstances raises serious questions about obstruction of justice. it is a fundamental question here. is anybody, including the president of the united states, above the law? can everybody be held accountable under the rule of law? and this revelation of this statement that has been alleged has raised that question. let us get more on the story from our los angeles correspondent david willis. another day, a now the controversy. can you bring us up today? breathtaking, really. these set reports first carried in the new york times and subsequently endorsed by other elements of the american media suggesting that president trump asked the former fbi director james comey, the man he sacked last week, to basically shut down the
investigation, the fbi investigation into the former national security adviser michael flynn. this stems from a conversation in the oval office between james from a conversation in the oval office betweenjames comey from a conversation in the oval office between james comey and donald trump. it came at the end of a security meeting and it was just one day after michael flynn was forced to resign as national security adviser amid concern about his ties to the russian ambassador to the united states. james comey went from that meeting and subsequently wrote a memo to himself and two other senior people in the fbi about the conversation that had taken place with donald trump. he said that mrtrump taken place with donald trump. he said that mr trump said that michael flynn was a good guy and i hope you can let this go. as i mentioned, james comey was sacked last week in pa rt james comey was sacked last week in part because of donald trump's dissatisfaction over the way he was
handling the investigation into alleged russian links between the trump campaign. and now the senate minority leader has issued a strongly worded statement. she said that if these reports carried in the new york times are true, the president's brazen attempt to shut down the fbi's investigation of michael flynn is an assault on the rule of law that is fundamental to oui’ rule of law that is fundamental to our democracy. at best, mr trump has committed a grave abuse of executive power and, at worst, he has obstructed justice. so there will now be called, i think, for memos to be produced, tapes to be produced and if the parties involved are unwilling, those materials could be subpoena. we're staying across this story, and you can pick up the very latest by heading to our website — that's bbc.com/news. let's take a look at some
of the day's other news. north korea provoked international outcry following its weekend ballistic missile — and of course the claim that the rocket can carry a nuclear warhead. the un security council is currently meeting in emergency session, behind closed doors. before it got under way, the us ambassador to the un, nikki haley, vowed to call out states backing north korea and its nuclear ambitions. sarah corker has the latest. sunday's missile test was north korea's most successful yet according to experts. it flew some 700 kilometres, let landing in the
sea west of japan. pyongyang says it is capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead. speaking before an emergency un security council meets, the us, flanked by allies, once again repeated this morning —— warning. for peace on the korean peninsula he has to stop this testing, he has to stop nuclear programmes that he has. the united states is willing to talk but not until we see a total stock of the nuclear process. a series of missile tests by the north this year have breached un sanctions. the us has sent warships to the region and is installing an anti—missile system in south korea as tensions on the peninsula intensifier. north korea is at the final stage of nuclear weaponisation. time is running out and the clock is ticking to the tipping point. pyongyang has defied calls even from its main ally,
china, to rein in its nuclear ambitions. so far, tougher sanctions appear to have failed. also making news today, mr trump and president erdogan of turkey have met at the white house and talked of their shared commitment to fighting terrorism. but turkey strongly opposes america's alliance with kurdish forces in syria that are confronting so—called islamic state. speaking to the press, mr erdogan said that turkey would never accept such cooperation. facebook is still available in thailand, despite a deadline passing for it to remove material the authorities had deemed critical of the monarchy. facebook was given until tuesday to take down 131 web addresses deemed to violate its strict lese—majeste law. authorities had threatened legal action and a complete shutdown of the social media site. there's more disappointment for maria sharapova. the french tennis federation has denied the russian star a wildcard invitation to next week's french open. the five—time grand slam winner came
back from a fifteen—month doping ban in april. bad news followed that announcement she was forced to pull out of the italian open with an injury, dashing her wimbledon hopes. the 70th cannes film festival is opening later today amid high levels of security. the glamorous event attracts film stars from across the globe to france' riviera — showcasing the latest offerings in world cinema. nicole kidman is tipped to be this year's biggest winner, starring in three of the most eagerly anticipated films. now take a look at this — a cycling race in county donegal in ireland was joined by a surprise entrant — a white horse. the four—legged front—runner jumped a fence and joined in the fun. luckily, no—one was injured. jakarta's once hugely popular
governor is being held in a simple room at a high—security detention centre, his only comforts a bible and visitors twice a week. it's a grim new life following his conviction for insulting islam in muslim—majority indonesia. basuki tjahaja purnama, also known as ahok, was hurriedly transferred to the high—security police facility in a suburb of the city early on wednesday after his supporters surrounded the jakarta jail he was initially sent to. another aspect of this story is the death threats that have been made against him. earlier i spoke to andreas harsono from the human rights watch in jakarta. he has spoken to the former governors sister about the state of his incarceration. she said that there is a fatwa for his blood. the fatwa says his blood is halal,
even inside prison. there is also a reward for anyone who can kill him in the prison. is he now when a safer place? according to his sister, yes. this new prison is smaller and under police protection. a safer place for her brother. from your standpoint, do you think the former governor's sentence could still be reduced? it is very difficult because one the indonesianjudiciary is becoming more and more strict and, secondly, it takes time, possibly the appeals process. so his sentence is only two years and he will serve at least two thirds of his sentence, about 1.5 years. so even if his appeal
is considered, it is too long a process. there are reports that the three judges involved in this case have been promoted. what signal does this send about what is happening in indonesia? it says that the indonesian judiciary is increasingly conservative and they are spreading all over indonesia. the fact that there are those who make such a controversial decision have a promotion... it says a lot that the supreme court is becoming increasingly conservative. so it is unlikely that despite international pressure that the blasphemy law will not be revised? it is difficult because right now of all of the indonesian political parties, ten of them, not a single party has agreed
to review their position on the blasphemy law. they all agree that the law should still be on the books. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme, we'll show you how discarded plastic has turned one of the remotest places in the world, into one of the most polluted. the pope was shot, the pope will live. that was the essence of the appalling news from rome this afternoon, that, as an italian television commentator put it, terrorism has come to the vatican. the man they called the butcher of lyon, klaus barbie, went on trial today in the french town where he was the gestapo chief in the second world war. winnie mandela never looked like a woman just sentenced to six years injail. the judge told mrs mandela there was no indication she felt even the slightest remorse. the chinese government has called
for an all—out effort to help the victims of a powerful earthquake, the worst to hit the country for 30 years. the computer deep blue has tonight triumphed over the world chess champion, gary kasparov. it is the first time a machine has defeated a reigning world champion in a classical chess match. america's first legal same—sex marriages have been taking place in massachusetts. god bless america! this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. i'm kasia madera in london. our top stories: reports from the us say president trump asked his former fbi chief to drop an investigation into a key aide. the white house say it didn't happen. following north korea's latest missile test, the un security council meets behind closed doors, and the us vows to call out states backing pyongyang. that story is popular on bbc.com.
let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the south china morning post reports on a piece of land currently occupied by a modest multistorey car park. it was bought by a property company controlled by one of the territory's richest men, lee shau—kee, for $3 billion. the financial times leads with our top story, president trump defending his sharing of intelligence with russia. the picture shows mr trump standing with turkish president erdogan. the two leaders held a meeting at the white house on tuesday. and the straits times reports on how hackers have pirated disney's latest pirates of the caribbean film, dead men tell no tales. the hackers are demanding a whole lot of booty for not releasing the film online before it hits the cinemas on 26 may. now, kasia, what stories
are sparking discussions online? rico, if you are ever stuck for a birthday present for me, look no further. this pair of diamond earrings have just been sold in geneva. as you can see, the flawless, pear—shaped diamonds are not matching colours. they were sold separately because blue diamonds are much rarer than pink ones. but the i6—carat gems will remain a pair, as they eventually went to the same buyer. and i know, rico, you are waiting for the price tag. they fetched an eye—watering $58 million. wow. not bad. i like the blue one. i
like both! let's return to the developments coming from the white house. the new york times is reporting that james comey, who mr trump sacked as head of the fbi, was asked by the president to drop the bureau's investigation into alleged ties between russia and michael flynn, the national security advisor at the time. well, more senators have been coming out to condemn president trump. democrat patrick leahy was asked if, like some of his colleagues, he thought a special prosecutor should be appointed. well, if this is true, one of the great ironies of the story would be that this came out in this meeting between comey and president trump, of which trump has given one version of the story, and now it appears that a very different version of that story is starting to come out. and, you know, i have no way to say whether this is right or wrong, but it certainly fits the description of what we've heard thus far. but give us a context, the significance of this.
a president asking somebody to drop an investigation, asking the head of the fbi to drop an investigation, is that something... it's not allowed, is it? no, it is not. and basically, one of the issues that keeps arising in this whole discussion is the obstruction of justice. and, you know, the president is not above the law. and so, if the president tries to shift the law in one direction or another, or tries to interfere with justice and the rule of law, that is illegal. there's just no two ways about it. and he's not above the law. and we don't know at this point what was done, but we are aware of a number of other cases where he has interfered rather egregiously with what is going on. and that, actually... it's almost impossible to describe the level of chaos that we see
coming out of washington these days. i mean, until a few minutes ago, the big story of the day was the fact that he was giving, you know, significant intelligence to the russians, in a private meeting in the oval office, which is mind—boggling in its own right. and before that, there were a whole series of other issues. it's basically a crisis a day, and it's hard to believe that this white house is getting anything done except the damage control. gary, i've heard one defence secretary saying that initially he was worried that the president wasn't reading his briefing notes. now, he is worried that the president is reading his briefing notes. in terms of what was said to the russians, is the president... do you think he was even aware of the golden rule of espionage, that you do not divulge information to a third party, without the initial country who gave you that information to have known?
he must know this kind of stuff, surely? well, i don't think so. and, you know, there is a problem here, because i was an intelligence officer in the us government for 2h years, and so to me, this isjust second nature. i mean, basically the one rule that you never, never ignore is the fact that information that you get from a third party, from another country, from another source, a trusted source, you do not give to anyone else without asking them. and this is absolutely true, it is absolutely... you know, it is followed by everybody in the intelligence community. so, regardless of whether he knew what the source was, whether he knew what the damage might be, it's simply not acceptable that you have the president giving away information from a sensitive source that belongs to somebody else. and, if he doesn't know that,
and if he wasn't briefed on the fact that's where it came from, he should have a greater sense of responsibility about what he does with the information that he has. and that is just a fact. henderson island in the remote south pacific has been nicknamed ‘plastic island', and it is not a happy story. this uninhabited, remote british territory in the pitcairn group is thousands of miles away from any mainland, but still it has been found to have the highest density of plastic rubbish anywhere in the world. scientists have estimated that 38 million items have been washed up on its beaches. here is victoria gill. 3,000 miles from the mainland, a remote paradise that became a rubbish dump. its beaches are now more densely polluted with plastic than anywhere else on earth. henderson island is home only
to south pacific sea birds and marine wildlife. and, with no human inhabitants, this should be a pristine haven. but an international team of researchers who visited and studied the island calculated that 17 tons of our litter washed or dumped into rivers and oceans have floated here over decades. dr alex bond saw the devastation up close. we looked across the beaches in a variety of different plots, and counted the pieces of plastic on the surface, and down to about ten centimetres. and from that we could extrapolate the area of beaches, and that's how we came up with our estimate of about 38 million pieces on the island. it's shocking because as you step along the beach, plastic is absolutely everywhere, no places without it. researchers say that most of the plastic waste they could identify appeared to come from china, japan and chile. most plastic floats,
and it can take centuries to degrade, so when it reaches the ocean, it stays at the surface and is carried on the currents. henderson island sits next to a vast circular system of ocean currents called the southern gyre, and that is depositing plastics from thousands of miles away onto its beaches. this is just a snapshot of the millions of tons of rubbish in ouroceans, but the researchers hope it may persuade us to end a toxic addiction to plastic. paris is looking to cross the line first in its bid to host the 2024 summer olympics, but los angeles is running neck—and—neck with the french capital. international olympic committee officials have praised the efforts of both cities, and they may both get the chance to hold the games, whether in 2024 or four years later. the bbc‘s dan roan explains why. here's just three days in the job, france's new president has wasted little time in backing paris's bid to host the 2024 games, macron
welcoming members of the international olympic committee to the leaves a paris on the final day of their inspection visit. paris has committed to spending billions on the event in the city mayor told me why. we will transform paris with the village for the athletes, and after the game the village for the athletes will be housing for people, and we need to build housing for people in the north of paris. so we are very, very committed. sport's showpiece event always provides magical moments, but the sight of rio 2016's abandoned olympic park has once again raised questions over legacy, and the vast cost of playing host means the games have an image problem. i will be right here in the city of angels, watching the olympics. despite all this, los angeles also wants to host the games. its bid is privately financed, with the venue is already built. like paris it has received
glowing praise from the ioc. things you point to as white elephants, buildings, budget issues, engaging the youth, those things literally go away and become certain deliverables as part of our bid. yes, there are challenges facing the olympic movement and what we can do is help calm the waters for seven years. and we think that is exactly what they need today. the ioc has grown accustomed to being courted by heads of state but unlike the past this evaluation commission will only decide between two rival cities after the hosts pulled out due to a lack of public or political support, and it could force the ioc into uncharted territory. whichever city losers look set to be offered the 2028 games as a confirmation, consolation prize, is the ioc considers an unprecedented two games deal in september to avoid the risk of having no bidders. it is something we all have to look at, and we have to figure out why our vent are not nearly as attractive as they were 20 or 30 years ago. we
should always be challenging ourselves as to how we can make these events more appropriate for local communities. we do need to communicate some of those values, and i'm not sure that we... i'm not sure any of us have really done that. this two horse race seems too close to call. paris and la have hosted the olympics before, and insist their focuses solely on the 2024 games. but, at a critical time for the future of their event, the ioc knows the future dell mac trash is on to find a solution that works everyone. you have been watching newsday. stay with us. for your eyes only — how one indian company is trying to break the taboo around adult—only personal products. hello there, good morning.
tuesday is probably going to be a day remembered for the high temperatures. looking outdoors, we had some blue skies at times here in lossiemouth, in scotland, and more blue skies and some more humid air here in kent. those two are significant, because in scotland it was the warmest day of the year so far, and with a temperature of 26 degrees at gravesend, the warmest day in the uk so far. but, in between this band of cloud, which didn't produce an awful lot of rain, but that cloud is thickening to give us a bit more rain today. and the warm air is going to get pushed ever so slowly away into the near continent. we're going to get into this cooler, fresher air, with sunshine and showers over the next few days. a chilly start, though, for scotland and northern ireland this morning, one or two showers in the north—west. but, by the morning, the rain more extensive across a large part of england and wales. now, through the day we will enjoy some sunshine in scotland and northern ireland, but we will enjoy some showers, some of them heavy, coming
into the north—west. whereas, for a large part of england and wales, it is going to be cold and wet all day, with some warmth, though, before that rain really gets going in east anglia and the south—east. but temperatures will be a bit lower than they were on tuesday in scotland and northern ireland. many eastern and southern parts of scotland staying dry, with some sunshine, but showers to the north—west and across northern ireland. and if you are stuck underneath this rain across a good part of northern england, wales, and the south—west, it really is going to feel quite cold. the rain starts to ease off later into the afternoon, but cold and wet all day through the midlands, central and southern england. ahead of the rain in east anglia and the south—east, it will be warm and humid. but once that rain arrives, late afternoon and into the evening, it could be very heavy and thundery across the east midlands, east anglia and the south—east. the rain begins to clear away from areas further west. so that is the first soaking rain for the gardens we've had for some time towards the south—east,
but could lead to some difficult travelling conditions. by thursday, it is all gone. we're into sunshine and showers. most of the showers out to the west, some heavy ones. it may well be a dry day across east anglia and the south—east. that is where we're seeing the highest temperatures, but they are tending to slip away. numbers are dropping, typically into the mid—teens. and sliding in from the atlantic, slowly but surely, we have this area of low pressure, which isjust going to amplify the showers of low pressure, which is just going to amplify the showers into longer spells of rain for northern ireland and for western scotland, closer to the centre of the low. otherwise, some sunshine and some showers scattered about, some of them still on the heavy side, and temperatures typically 14 or 15 degrees, and not getting any warmer over the weekend. yes, there will be some sunshine at times, but some further heavy showers, and with clear skies at night, it will be on the chilly side. this is bbc news. our top story: the white house has denied reports in the us media that president trump tried to get the fbi to drop an investigation into one of his aides.
the new york times claims the president asked the fbi directorjames comey to drop the investigation in february. mr comey was subsequently sacked. after north korea's latest missile test, the un security council has been meeting in closed session. the us wants it to tighten sanctions against pyonyang. and this video is trending on bbc.com. researchers at aukland university in new zealand think that performing the haka may help maoris keep dementia at bay. they say older maoris tend to play a substantial role in the ritual, keeping them mentally and physically agile. that's all from me now. stay with bbc world news. and the top story here in the uk: the labour leader, jeremy corbyn, has launched the pa rty‘s manifesto, calling it a programme to create a fairer society.